New Delhi, November 19
The Supreme Court (SC) will on Monday take up petitions filed by the governments of Tamil Nadu and Kerala against alleged delay on part of the respective Governor in giving assent to Bills passed by the state legislative assemblies.
The matter is scheduled to be heard by a three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, which had on November 10 declared the Punjab legislative assembly’s session held in June as constitutionally valid and asked Governor Banwarilal Purohit to take decisions on the four Bills pending with him.
Taking strong exception to the Punjab Governor sitting over certain Bills passed by the Punjab legislative assembly, the top court had cautioned Purohit against “playing with fire”.
“The Governor is a titular head. The fundamental law followed is that the Governor acts on aid and advice of the Council of Ministers, except on subjects he has discretion… The Governor is expected to act as a constitutional statesman guiding the government on matters of constitutional concern,” the top court had said.
On Saturday, the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly re-adopted 10 Bills in a special sitting, days after Governor RN Ravi returned them. The Bills were passed in the wake of the Governor returning the same on November 13. The re-adopted Bills have been sent to the Governor for his assent.
The top court had on November 10 issued notice to the Centre on Tamil Nadu Government’s petition alleging delay by the Governor in giving assent to Bills passed by the state legislative assembly and sought the assistance of the Attorney General or Solicitor General.
Noting that 12 Bills and several issues, including premature release to prisoners, sanction for prosecution and appointment of members to the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission were pending with the Governor, “the issues raise a matter of serious concern”.
The Kerala Government has also moved the top court accusing Governor Arif Mohammed Khan of delaying his assent to Bills passed by the state legislative assembly, which was “defeating the rights of the people”.
“Of these, three Bills have remained pending with the Governor for more than two years and three more in excess of a full year. The conduct of the Governor, as would presently be demonstrated, threatens to defeat and subvert the very fundamentals and basic foundations of our Constitution, including the rule of law and democratic good governance, apart from defeating the rights of the people of the state to the welfare measures sought to be implemented through the Bills,” the Kerala Government submitted.
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